Ronnie Brewer being dealt to the Oklahoma City Thunder was not the only change going on in New York at Thursday’s NBA Trade Deadline.
The Knicks used their time wisely in signing veteran forward Kenyon Martin to a 10-day contract and the deal is expected to be completed by early next week. New York has been in need of big man help and talk of Martin joining the Knicks has been floated about over the last few months, so it is not a shocker the two sides reached an agreement.
But while head coach Mike Woodson loves the passion the 12-year pro brings to the mix, this will also be an experiment in keeping cool under pressure and maintaining the health of the oldest team in the league.
"We've always liked Kenyon," Knicks GM Glen Grunwald said about the 35-year old Martin, who spent last season with the Los Angeles Clippers where he averaged 5.2 points, 4.3 rebounds and one block in 22.4 minutes over 42 games.
"He's a great competitor and a good defender and he's played with number of our players on the Knicks (including Carmelo Anthony and J.R. Smith)…. We're just looking forward to adding another good defender who can help us in our quest this season."
What Grunwald and Woodson do not want, however, is to add Martin and watch the technical fouls increase and more health woes arise with an aging player.
New York is already without Rasheed Wallace and Marcus Camby and remain unsure if they will return this season. Then there is the technical fouls issue, with the Knicks among the league leaders with 39. The verdict is still out on which on of those — the old man aches and pains or the constant T's — is more painful.
So will signing Martin to a 10-day contract and likely extending him for the rest of the season backfire on New York?
It really depends what kind of condition Martin is in and the effectiveness of the playing time he receives.
One thing is for sure: team chemistry should not be rocked with K-Mart's addition. He is a former teammate of Carmelo Anthony, Jason Kidd, J.R. Smith, Raymond Felton and Camby and the Knicks are well aware of what they are getting in adding Martin.
"We're hopeful that he's going to show that he's still got what it takes to be an NBA player," Grunwald said. "I'm optimistic that he's going to be able to come and play for us."
Now they just have to be prepared to deal with the consequences if bringing in Martin is not the answer the Knicks are searching for.